Dr T’s Pro-tips: Festival Pain Management Pt 1
Now that EDC Vegas has come to an end & Bonaroo & Electric Forest are quickly approaching many people are feeling drained; physically, mentally, emotionally…. Financially (this isn’t a cheap festival to attend) but mostly EVERYTHING HURTS! Our feet ache intensely with every step, because we’ve all EASILY walked over 12 miles in 3 days & been on our feet for upwards of 15 hrs a day. Our calves & hamstrings feel like tight ropes about to snap after jumping, & shuffling our hearts out for 10-12 hrs a night. Our low back feels like we’re 1000 years old & our necks feel broken. Many are experiencing jaw pain &/or headaches from dehydration, “headbanging” too much, & feverishly chomping on gum. If you missed my into post check it out here.
In this post were going to discuss ways to minimize & manage some of these things, improve healing & recovery so you can get back out there ASAP! Don’t worry there will be follow up posts discussing preventative tools to get your body in “pre-game” mode. Here are my go-to list of tools & stretches for the low back down for you to try. If you’re a yogi you’ll be pleased to see many of them are yoga poses or a variation of.
HYDRATION is #1
First & foremost, I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT HYDRATION is. It pains my soul to see people suffer with various complications related to dehydration from muscle cramps to heat stroke, seizures & hypovolemic shock. PLEASE drink water, lots of it, & when you think you’ve had enough drink more. If you notice someone, friend or stranger who doesn’t have a hydration pack or water bottle & they look sweaty, hot & exhausted help them get water or share your own. I sometimes carry an extra water bottle to offer strangers drinks. I also carry disinfectant wipes for my mouthpiece. (on some you can pull the mouthpiece off & water will just pour out). Cool towels are a great tool to help prevent heat exhaustion & manage hydration. (lower skin temp = less sweating & lower resting heart rate). In the meantime check out this article on key electrolytes, why they’re important & snacks to help maintain them. Okay, rant over, for now. I will touch on this again in later posts.
These are going to be for back & lower body only, I will discuss upper body in my next article! As a general rule of thumb when I’m really sore or tight I do these stretches 3-5 times throughout the day. Repeat each stretch 5-7 times & hold each position for 15-30 sec depending on the intensity & area.
- 2. Sphinx
- 3. Cannon ball
- 4. Seated single leg hamstring *toe in & toe out*
- 5. Downward dog *alternating heel touches*
These are all great & very effective stretches but my absolute favorite thing is using a lacrosse ball for trigger point work & to roll out the arches in my feet, shins, low back muscles & hips! The reason it’s so much more effective? In my opinion, is because it can actually reach those trigger points that often lay much deeper than the stretches are capable of getting when we’re exceptionally tight or inflexible.
Last Golden Nugget from Dr T
Keeping a small tube or can of biofreeze/tiger balm/icy hot can also be a powerful tool. I also bring melatonin to every festival because sometimes sleeping can be very difficult after a festival but is important for recovery, mood, & overall well-being.